January 30, 20183min1499

The Lightning Network goes on BTC Mainnet

The Lightning Network is a proposed scaling solution that may help cure the bitcoin core protocol’s transaction congestion and rising fees. The idea is to enable off-chain transactions and micropayments through a peer-to-peer network of bidirectional payment channels. Over the past six months there’s been a lot of testing using test-BTC. But lately, there’s been a big transition to main net experimentation and actual payments using real BTC. There is currently 931 mainnet LN channels and 356 nodes with variety of colorful names using real 3.863 BTC (42151.32 USD), according to current data

Lightning Network should reduce the fees by providing off-chain transactions and micropayments through a peer-to-peer network. However, the initial cost to open those channels and close them is quite big.

Theantnest posted on Reddit: the cost to open the channels using today’s standard fees using data from Bitcoinfees.info would be roughly $4,740 USD. Closing the channels would cost roughly the same which means that opening and closing all of the LN channels would run 0.83 BTC ($9,480 USD).

Lightning Developers Warn Against Mainnet Use

All the hype surrounding the LN protocol being used on mainnet, so some developers who work on the protocol are warning people not to use it on the real network. Lightning Labs CTO Olaoluwa Osuntokun has told people not to use LN on mainnet. The company’s co-founder Elizabeth Stark has also cautioned people who were testing LN on mainnet. With a nascent protocol that’s surrounded by a lot of hype, there’s a lot more work to do as far as trial and error on the live network.



Lastly, last week there’s been a few reports of LN bugs where one LN developer Rusty Russell experienced a bug and asked, “so, who was first to lose money on Lightning Network bitcoin mainnet?” Russell’s question was answered by another individual who experienced a bug sending a transaction as well. “Happened to my node too,” the person replies.


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